Much like the Crosseyed Cyclops I mentioned yesterday, Cool-Mo-Dee has also posted a whole comics collection worth of great old comics. Recently they’ve been doing the world the great service of focusing on one of my favorite series of all time… which is also I believe the longest running (numerically) comic title of all time… Dell’s Four Color series.
Dell licensed and published most of the popular highly recognizable children’s icons of the era that they were in business, and they had most of the best children’s cartoonists working for them (Barks, Kelly, Stanley, and many others) from the 30’s through the 60’s.
I’m not sure how frequently Four Color came out (weekly? bi-monthly?) but the last issue was numbered #1354. It was not a conventional series featuring one character, but a long series of one shots featuring Dell’s huge library of popular licensed characters.
Four Color‘s run includes the first Donald Duck comic and the first Uncle Scrooge comic among other wonderful things… many of the greatest adventure tales of Carl Barks were Four Color one shots. Walt Kelly did a huge body of brilliant non-Pogo work for children in the Four Color books in a number of different titles.
Titles that proved particularly popular were often spun off into their own series, so Four Color was very much a testing ground for Dell as well. The vast majority of the Four Color comics have never been reprinted and probably never will be.
Pictured above is a typically charming cover to a typically charming issue of Raggedy Ann (Four Color #72), which you can download here.
You can read more about the Four Color series on Wikipedia here.
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